What it is: Liberty Kids teaches about Colonial life in America through a variety of educational activities. Students can explore the animated “Now and Then” segments which compare and contrast various lifestyles, cultural, technological, and health issues from the Revolutionary War period and life in the 21st century. The Liberty News Maker lets students create newspapers that include headlines, stories, and pictures. Students can engage in games and activities that allow them to discover important information about how the United States was founded. The Revolution Archive allows students to learn more about historical figures of the Revolution. Here students will find artists renderings and historical facts about important people, places, and events from the time period. The site also includes a great teacher section that includes ideas for making the Colonial period relevant to your students, on and off line activities for students to complete, and scripts for short plays that students can perform where they will hear the voices of slaves and free men, American Indians, women, and a poor immigrant.
How to integrate Liberty Kids into the classroom: My 5th grade students LOVE Liberty Kids. They especially enjoy watching the “Now and Then” video clips together as a class. (In fact, their homeroom teacher has started using these clips as a reward in her classroom.) This site bring history to a kid level and helps them understand history as it relates to them. Students get a great view of what life was like during the Revolutionary War as well as learn about key events, people, and places of the Colonial period. Use the play scripts to connect your students to the lesser known voices during the Revolutionary War. Let them explore the site individually on classroom computers or explore as a class with an interactive whiteboard or with a projector. The animated video clips and Revolution Archive can be used with the whole class but the games are best for students to play individually on their own computer. After students have a good understanding of Colonial Life, they can create and print out a newspaper cover that they create.
Tips: There are some CBS advertisements on this site that will be very appealing to students. Make sure that they know which portions of the site are advertisements and which are part of the Liberty Kids website. This is a great opportunity to teach students about how to spot an advertisement and why websites use advertising.
Leave a comment and share how you are using Liberty Kids in your classroom.